Some people think that I have been courageous in this life. And I suppose at some moments I have been, but maybe not for the reasons that really matter. Because if being courageous is really knowing who you are, and BEING who you really are, maybe I have not always done such a good job. I watched the “power of vulnerability” TED talk with Brene Brown the other night. In it she says courage is living whole-hearted. To her, that means living without shame, living without a fear of disconnect. And I think all too often I have lived with a sense of shame. I never saw it that way or felt it that way, but I look back now and know it is true. To live while not having a sense of vulnerability, is not being real. It’s not living with courage.
To be vulnerable I must reveal who I truly am with no shame and with a whole heart. What a frightening, uncontrollable, unpredictable place to be. What if no one connects to you? What if you are not seen? This is something that I have not always been in a place to willingly do. It’ easier to “know” how people want you to be, what will get the connection of others and act, BE, from that place.
Vulnerable means laying out your heart for all the world to see and judge and reject, and thinking I will do this anyway with strength, with courage. It means saying to everyone, “I have something to offer, to give, to share with the whole world that is just me. Only me. Totally me.” And some will reject it, and some will fall in love with it, and some will be inspired by it. But some will hate it. Some will have disdain for it. Some will think I am less than and unworthy for it. But I will do it anyway. This is living with vulnerability. This is living with courage.
To know that we are perfect for exactly who we are…to know, I AM ENOUGH, is what real vulnerability is. It’s also the only way to truly give love, share love, and receive love. Imagine if we all decided to be vulnerable? What joy and beauty would come from that.
Teach your children that they are enough, that not
everyone will love them. Let them know not everyone will connect to them, but that there are plenty that will. And whether they do or they don’t, your light shines anyway. Your gifts are given. Your love is felt. And that is enough. That is courageous vulnerability.